Here’s the history of vintages in Roero since 2000:
The winter was mild with only a few snowfalls, leading to an early germination. A rainy spring was followed by a sunny and ventilated period, with a veraison that took place under favorable meteorological conditions. The meteorological conditions favored the production of high-quality Arneis, leading to Roero Arneis wines of good structure and persisting acidity, with delicate and lasting aromas. The second half of September was characterized by a progressive change, with alternate periods of rain and sunshine. The Nebbiolo arrived at the end of September taking advantage of the cooler temperatures to complete its regular maturation cycle, all of which led to Roero wines with a high alcohol content, with intense aromas, noticeable structure and phenolic complexity.
The winter was rather rainy, helping form a significant water supply for rest of the year. There were very little precipitations in the spring, a period in which the phenological phases developed regularly. The month of August and the beginning of September were hot and dry, allowing the Arneis to reach a perfect ripening, leading to fresh Roero Arneis wines with a good structure. The conditions then changed in the following days, with violent hailstorms and low temperatures that led to a slowing down of the vegetative activity, while the extremely large water supply led to the enlargement of the grape berries, a dilution of their sugar content and delayed the ideal ripening phase of the Nebbiolo. The good weather that followed, however, allowed for ideal acidity and good sugar levels. The Roero wines are elegant, with moderate alcohol content, deep and complex aromas, good structure and phenolic complexity.
The 2002 harvest will be remembered for its abnormal meteorological conditions that caused great problems: Spring and August rainfalls, low temperatures, and hailstorms in the month of September. It was a harvest that forced grape growers to make selections, to eliminate the grape clusters affected by mildew, to even harvest grapes that were still a bit damp. Briefly, they were forced to be selective both in the vineyard as well as in the cellar. These measures had a large impact on the production quantities, with a decrease of 50%. While this was a horrible vintage for the Arneis, it was not such a bad year for a late-maturing varietal like Nebbiolo, and producers were able to obtain a Roero light-structured but pleasant, easy to drink and pair with food.
The 2003 vintage was characterized by constant periods of sunshine with almost a total absence of rain; these series of facts led to record high temperatures for the area, and kept them high for a long period. At the end of August rainfall totals reached 265mm, compared with 830mm in 2002 and 390mm in 1997. The Arneis harvest was finished by September 10th, with a good overall situation, average alcohol content and decent aromas. Even though sun and heat burns were evident on some Nebbiolo grape berries, the qualitative level reached was rather high, leading to Roero wines that were rich and high in alcohol content.
A “nervous” winter, with average harsh temperatures, as well as a spring characterized by heavy precipitations up until the beginning of May allowed for the replenishing of the water supply. The following months witnessed summer temperatures that were never too high and almost a total absence of precipitations. The entire month of September and the first days of October were sunny, with temperatures above the seasonal average. These conditions allowed for an abundant harvest of mature and healthy grapes, were the true challenge became the regulation of the production. The harvest was long and quiet: it started in mid September for the Arneis and finished at the end of October for the Nebbiolo. The resulting Roero Arneis wines had average alcohol contents, balanced acidity and intense aromas, while the Roero had complex and interesting aromas, a good acidity, and were rather elegant.
The year 2005 was characterized by abnormal weather conditions, all which in the end, however, were satisfactory. A mild winter of low precipitations was followed by a spring that began with cooler temperatures and little rainfalls. The temperature increased drastically in the month of June, leading to above-average seasonal temperatures; August, in spite of the forecasts was characterized by below-average temperatures and calm skies. The month of September began with some days of rainfalls, conditions that then became normal, turning almost summer-like by the end of the month, with strong temperature fluctuations that helped bring out the sugar accumulation and the aromatic compounds of the grapes. There were some rainfalls in the month of October, but by then the harvest had pretty much been concluded. The grapes were all together healthy, with a lower production in comparison with the year 2004. The Roero Arneis are bold with a good aromatic richness, while the Roero are full-bodied, with good alcohol content and intense aromatic sensations.
The winter was long, cold and had many precipitations with heavy snowfalls towards the end of January. Spring-like conditions did not arrive until the month of April, but after the second half of May, there was a shift between hot and cold conditions, with little precipitations. In mid-September, four days of torrential days accumulated to 3-5 times the average monthly rainfall and just a little under the total precipitations of the first 8 months of the year. The year favored the Arneis – especially because of the night/day temperature fluctuations seen during the last ten days of August – which reached excellent ripeness levels and had intense aromas. As for the Nebbiolo, only those who were patient enough to wait were able to obtain healthy and good quality grapes, which led to Roero of complex aromas, the right acidity and a good alcohol level.
The 2007 year had particular weather conditions, with an exceptionally early germination period, due to a particularly mild winter and a florescence that began around the 5th-10th of May, followed by a cool period with frequent rainfalls that led to a slowing down of the phenological cycle and which counterbalanced the early conditions of the previous months. There were no rainfalls in the month of July; the temperatures increased, leading to particularly hot days that caused burns to the grapes. Even though the August temperatures were slightly lower than average, the harvest was started well in advance: at the end of the month for the Arneis and towards September 20th for the Nebbiolo. The resulting Arneis was excellent, with a balanced acidity and a noticeable aromatic richness. There was a high sugar content concentration for the Nebbiolo, leading to Roero with a good alcohol content, rich in aromas and with a good body and structure.
The year 2008 was not an easy one. After a normal winter, beginning in the month of May and for a whole month after, there was a period of heavy (almost daily) rainfalls; some vines suffered heavy damage due to hailstorms and heavy winds. The beginning of a humid summer led to a noticeable delay in the veraison and the sugar synthesis, which developed in a similar way as in 2004. From the end of August, however, there were over 50 days of steady weather, with mild day temperatures and cool nights. These conditions favored the Arneis, which was harvested in the first weeks of September; it reached a good balance between sugars and acidity, leading to balanced Roero Arneis wines, with a good alcohol level, but fresh and with good floral notes at the same time. The Nebbiolo, as well, harvested during the second and third weeks of October, reached ideal maturation levels, leading to Roero rich in aromas, with a good freshness and complexity.
This year began with a winter that saw heavy snowfalls and the beginning of a rainy spring, all of which guaranteed a good water supply of the soil. The month of April was characterized by several rainfalls, which along with the mild temperatures, helped the appearance of the peronospora; the month of May was dry and ventilated, with an early (although, soon counterbalanced) phenological development of the vines. The year will also be remembered for an irregular maturation period, with almost no summer rainfalls and a heat wave during the second half of August. From a technological maturation perspective, it was a hot year, and it falls between 2003 and 2007 with a high sugar content levels, a quantity of malic acid that was below average, and a complete maturation. The harvest of the Arneis began around the 10th of September, and the Roero Arneis was balanced and with a good structure. The phenolic maturation of the Nebbiolo, as well, was very similar to that of 2003, leading to rich and well-structured Roero wines.
The year was characterized by a harsh winter, with heavy snowfalls that guaranteed a good water supply. The beginning of summer was characterized by heavy precipitations, some low hailstorms and mild temperatures; there was an increase in temperature during the last ten days of August and during the month of September that led to ideal day/night temperature fluctuations. The Roero Arneis resulted slightly less alcoholic and with a lighter body when compared to previous years, but with intense aromas, well balanced and with a good freshness. The Nebbiolo benefited from the good weather conditions of the month of September, making up for the slight delay in the maturation, with a good accumulation of increasing sugars and an acidity level that was more than acceptable. The maturation of the phenolic elements (essential for the body and the aging ability of the wine) was ideal, leading excellent Roero wines that can age well.
The year 2011 will be remembered as an unusual one: precocious and with low yields. The winter was normal, both in temperatures and precipitations, which the increased in the month of March. The high temperatures in April led to an early vegetative development of at least two weeks. The high average temperatures in August (above 30°C) reduced the quantity of grapes produced by the plants. The harvest of the Arneis had begun already by the end of August, leading to Roero Arneis of good structure and with surprising aromas. For the Nebbiolo, the rainfalls during the first weekend of September and the lowering of the night temperatures during the second half of the month were essential, leading to Roero wines that were overall well balanced – from the sugar contents, acidity level to the phenolic components – with very interesting aromas, especially for wines of medium-long aging.
The winter was particularly harsh, with temperature drops as low as -15°C towards the end of January, low temperatures and heavy snowfalls for the entire month of February. Spring was cool and rainy between March and April, while the temperature increased in the month of May. Rainfalls during the first days of June led to weak fruit set stage, thus reducing the number of grapes per cluster. Summer was characterized by medium-high temperatures and few precipitations. The Arneis harvest began during the first week of September. The Roero Arneis wines showed a lower acidity in comparison to those of 2011, but were well-balanced overall. The Nebbiolo harvest began at the beginning of October, benefitting from a noticeable period of temperature fluctuations beginning on the second half of September. The quantity and quality of the phenolic substances was very good, leading to well-structured Roero wines that are suitable for aging, with alcohol contents that are slightly below average in comparison to the previous years.
The year 2013 was characterized by a rather late harvest, started 15 days later in comparison to the last 10 years and concluded for the Nebbiolo during the first days of November. The beginning of the vegetative cycle of the vine depended on the low temperatures of March and April and on the abundant precipitations of April and May. The conditions improved in June, but in spite the favorable summer conditions, the vines were not able to recover from the conditions of the previous months. The good fruit set stage along with the ideal water supply favored the development of larger clusters, heavy and compact, in comparison to the averages of the last years. The Roero Arneis wines have a good aromatic profile and an ideal acidity, with lower sugar content levels in comparison to the last few years. The Nebbiolo benefitted from the final stage of the season, which presented ideal weather conditions for the phenolic synthesis, characterized by warm days with plenty of light and cool nights.
The year 2014 was one of the most complex years in history as it regards the management of the vineyard. The winter had mild temperatures, while spring arrived early, leading to a precocious vegetative development. The beginning of the summer reported average temperatures, maintaining the early arrival of the vegetative cycle. The amount of summer rains, however, was above average. The amount of rainfalls combined with average high temperatures created the ideal conditions for the breakout of fungus attacks, leading to a reduction of the production. The end of the season, however, was favorable, with good temperature fluctuations in the months of September and October that decisively favored the maturation of the Nebbiolo and its phenolic profile. The Arneis reported sugar content levels that were not very high, with a pronounced acidity that should guarantee its aromatic freshness.